Pre Bali Biennale 2005
Sub Theme : Edifice
August 20th – September 20th 2005
EDIFICE Experimentalist Freedom & Outcasts
Edifice as a sub theme in the Pre Bali Biennale represents visual art practices that are not only within the realms of fine art (paintings, sculpture, and graphic art), but also to compile creativities
in the realms of “new media” such as video art, digital print, or photography. At least they are “new” mediums of creations in the milieu of visual arts in Bali.
This also includes art practices deemed “outsiders” apart from main stream categories mentioned before such as ceramic and glass art , that are considered crafts. Furthermore, Edifice also accommodates creative practices that are beyond the middle categories above, such as installation arts that a represent within this event. Thus, it the interpretation upon Edifice represents an approach in the frame of visual art such as expressed by Jim Supangkat in the effort to affirm the thoughts of Sanento Yuliman upon the existence of two visual arts within the realms of our visual art , all this time. Because in such visual frame of arts, the isolating partitions in the tradition of fine art can removed, thus permits interpretation upon text to find its relation with contextual aspects surrounding the arts itself hence the content can be read.
If artworks selection of paintings and sculpture are through photographs, the curatorial readings of installation artworks are from concepts and sketches or mockup on papers made by the artists. Hence, a degree of deviation exists from the imagery in sketches with the real artwork itself, but herein the artists are test to compose artworks that conform such blue prints .
Let us start by discussing graphic arts (printed art) presented by 1Made Saryana with his artwork that uses woodcut techniques. Eventhough for years it hasbecome a part of the disciplines of visual art and has became a faculty byitsownright, it seems that graphicart isstilla peculiarity in the general society. Yet in fact its ‘ application is that close to our daily life. Graphic art has various techniques from woodcut , lithography, logography, silk screen or screen-printing to high-tech digital printing in recent times. I Made Saryana, the only graphic artist in this event presents his wood cut artwork entitled “Persembahan Tiada Henti “. Being around this representation of digital print on woodcuts leaves sensibilities and many unpredicted possibilities for the artist himself. This can be seen in the artwork, in which Saryana attempts to portray the subsisting traditional life in Bali , the dominating red colors purport the enthusiasm to take on such responsibilities.
From ceramic arts, the artists are A.A.Anom a ceramic artist graduated from PSSRD Unud, and Prabandari (Riri) currently a student of the Ceramic Faculty lSI Yogyakarta, as well as Ida Bagus Suarjana, one of the glass sculptors in Bali. There is an inclination that a ceramic art is grouped into craft, and very difficult to attain acknowledgement for inclusion within the frame of fine art both the international and national setting. Apart from such reclusion, at least Bali Biennale through the frame of visual arts, permits space for artworks that are within the nuances of crafts .
From the artworks, such crafty nuance appears in the artwork of A.A. Anom, with small house lizards’ figurines that composed rigidly and meticulously constructing a circle and with subtle white ivory glaciers. In the other hand Ni Nyoman Widya Prabandari commonly called Riri purports the exploration possibilities that emerge fro m substance issues generally presented in ceramic work. Riri presents a simple form of a house with two old women figures smiling and greeting. This artwork is entitled “Rumah Mbah Meme and Mbah Koh”, and it shows the efforts of Riri to display the maximal character of clays. This artwork is simple and affable. Mean while, Ida Bagus Suarjana, one the few glass sculptors in Bali, learnt to master art of glass from a Japaneseartist and by working at a ceramic company. Glass art may be something ne and in a higli degree, heating process glass melts such as plastic. For artists , this plasticity of glass provides an immense creative space. He composes two artworks of glass sculpture, each titled “Angel” and “Buddha”, (both 85 em x 100 em, 2005). It seems that the Buddha figure that has been fashioned in various mediums -paintings on canvas, rock sculptures -and offered in extensive lines of art shops in Bali also stimulates Ida Bagus Suarjana to respond such theme through glass.
Then we enter installation art. Installation art does not only emerge from creative practice certainties that attempts to proceed outside the convention of fine art trad ition, since if outlined this creat ive practice possess historical values that are very related to the fine art tradition itself. There is restlessness, denial, and conflict within it. The movement can be seen through the emerge of the effort to question the definition of art as done by Marcel Ducamp and Dadaism, through its legendary Urine or the constructivism in sculpture. Herein it queries the spatial principles in sculptu re, the emerge of collage in two dimensional art that attempts question the flatness of two dimensional surface in paintings, to which is extremely pursued by post cubism painters , as with many other similar movements.
Similar spirit emerge in the Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru 1975, a movement that propels stimulation for installation art practices that keeps augmenting and dynamically progressing after. GSRB emerge as response to visual art constraints that during the time constructed as somewhat individual and unyielding to modern aspects. It is the firmness of barriers and categorization (read: paintings, sculpture, and design) that was breached by GSRB by expanding creative processes in fine art and even overcoming limitations from such categorization . This continues by expanding context by questioning the cultural construction of fine art itself such as in to Pameran Seni Rupa Apa (PIPA) , Pasar Raya Dunia Fantast, and many more.
Installation artwork then does not stop in its effort to represent phenomenon to the audience but also to invite audiences to interact with the artwork itself. Interaction that does not necessarily refer to physical interaction but also psychic for instance how “disturbed” the audience are when experiencing the artworks.
In Bali, especially during the 1980s, Nyoman Erawan -born in Banjar Dlodtangluk, Sukawati and alumnus of 1S1 Yogyakarta became a pioneer of installation and performance art creations. He mix and transform concepts and lexicon of Balinese cultural visual and iconography. His artwork such as ‘Rejang Biru”, “Pralina Hitam” , “Kalpataru”, “Kalantaka Matra”, as well as his performance art suchas “Cak Seni Rupa Latta Mahosadi”, “Ritus Ruwatan Seni”, and others became the onset, to which.creative resonance reverberates to other artists until the present times. Lately, in the end of the 1990s there are many Balinese artists that venture in the domain of installation, including Pande Ketut Taman , Putu Sutawijaya, Wayan Sujana “Suklu”, Made Supena, and others.
From such movement, we can lay foundation of the exploration of the installation artworks that are included in this “edifice” sub-theme. They are Imam Nurofiq, Ni Komang Kartika Tri Dewi, Cece Riberu, Grace Tjondronimpuno, Lufti Sani, Eksa Agung Wijaya, Ida Bagus Candra Yana, I Made Widya Diputra, Dewa Gede Jodi Saputra,and Hamad Khalaf.
Imam Nurofiq displays an artwork entitled “Rooster with Tile from Islands Country” an installation that is constructed through numerous material form chicken head statues with shirts made of fiber, statues configured form chicken eggs and bird nests constructed from grass and dried rice stalks. Through this artwork, Imam yearns to portray the struggle for power within the national political scene. Agung Eksa presents “Dalam Dunia Diam II”, an installation of fiberglass statues that are placed within a cage, to which purports his effort to construct space imagery through a composition that is suited to the settings of the exhibition space. Through this artwork, Agung purports a critical reflection upon the brutality of humanity that permits any kind of measures in the struggle for self-existence. He asks uponethical, morally, and humane political practices . Where is it?
In the other hand, Lufti Sani discusses employment problematic in the artwork entitled “Buruh”. He composes metaphors where investors exploit workers. In this artwork, the employer pulls a modified visual mixture of sewing machines with dog heads. Meanwhile Cece Riberu forwa rds a three dimensional cartoon titled ‘The Passion of Me” in the form of a figure in traditional Balinese attire, repressed on a chair resembling a throne ; meanwhile in its rear children are buried. Cece surfaces the time contradiction in treating culture as in nurturing it as a political conservation or locking it as short-term interest that can result in death. Grace Tjondronimpuno presents a mini installation titled “Survival” of caricature figures that portrays tourism exploitations, where traditional exotics are being forward with additions of new exotic products of urban life: the sex industry in the form of nightlife entertainment such as striptease.
Dewa Gede Jodi Saputra with his artwork entitled “Siap Terbebani” portrays his agitation upon situations frequently hampering his nation even more his land of birth, Bali. Jodi proclaims that we must take responsibility upon everything; a portrayal of four hands sustaining a glass with numerous items pressing on top of it. In the wake of concerns to social life phenomenon’s of Indonesian culture, especially in a Balinese milieu, I Made Widya Putra corresponds through an artwork titled “Warning”, a reflective caution upon the melting of tradition following the impose of modernization. Diputra portrays such awareness through melting ice creams on glasses, to which are placed in rows on the floor.
If the three artists above tries to enter upon the realms of social, political and cultural settings that includes Bali as a subject matter, the n Clayton Barr and Hamad Khalaf appears in a distant stream as an outsider (the position about foreign painters that interact in Bali has been discussed in the “pilgrimage” sub-theme). In the artwork SacredShake 2005, Clayton Barr purports the complexity surrounding people and culture in Bali. The multifaceted artwork and concept could indeed raise a warm discourse. Meanwhile, Hamad Khalaf, Kuwait born artist that has spent most of his time in France before residing in Bali in the last few years, combines the Greek mythology “Minotaur” with symbols of today’s reality of Bali, in an artwork “Reconstruction #18″ (acrylic on canvas ft ceramic tile, 28 cm x 34 em, 2005). The figure of “Minotaur” turns out its back upon a head line bit from the Bali Post daily, where there is a name “Hambali t…”, the mastermind of the 2002 Bali Bombings, to which his where about is still not known until today. In the Greek mythology, Minotaur is an immoralist, animalistic and evil figure.
Ni Komang Kartika Tri Dewi forwards story telling about herself and her family, to which does not have a son in the familytree. In the patriarchal culture such as in Bali, families expect to have the birth of a son, and it represents a complicated problem in practice, even though in the Balinese culture it knows the “sentana” system (where male in marriage can approach female). In the practice of traditional Balinese marriage, this problem frequently occurs, becomes a small narration in the customs, but in directly portrays “gender discriminations” in the practice of Balinese culture.
Photography is a among the media that is classified as “new” especially for those in Bali trying to enter the constellation of visual arts. In this event, emerge five photographers such as Ida Bagus Candra Yana, Cok Puspawati Nindhia, I Komang Arba Wirawan, Anis Raharjo, all from Photography Faculty 1S1 Denpasar and a foreign artist, Tamarra Kaida. The presence of photography now days follows the advancement of digital printing as well as digital construction of effects in computer using numerous
image and graphic manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Fireworks and etcetera. This propensity appears from the artwork of Ida Bagus Candra Yana entitled “Sisi Tubuh”. This artwork plays with the composition of a compounded body parts effects resembling aluminum foil textures. In a similar exploration, Anis Raharjo in his artwork entitled “Merenung” plays his photography snap upon a sweet-smiling child . This figure appears suppressed by stains resembling corrosion plus playful colors of red, yellow, green, purple; all making the object appear as a positive or negative print.
Furthermore, Cok Puspa Nindhia that utilizes the combination of the transparent glass character with the color red, a presentation of a metaphor picturing the desire of the soul in her artwork entitled “Spirit”. Meanwhile, Tamarra Kaida through her artwork “Room in Museum, Room in Mind” stages our comprehensions in differentiating two snapshots upon a same room, yet if observed carefully there is somewhat different in the frames. Distant to the four photography artists before, I Komang Arba Wirawan frees his snapshots from all possibilities of effect in his desire to capture life realities of a child living in the area of Lake Buyan, This child helps his parents by renting fishing poles to visitors that come to view the serene nature of Lake Buyan.
Lastly, we will enter the works of two artists that fo some time have embraced video art: Ridwan Rudianto and Erick Est. Previously they are more concerned with practical areas. Ridwan frequently fulfill video recordings requests from personal entities, recording companies as well as television, meanwhile lately Erick is active making video clips for the popular songs. Yet behind their tigh schedules, they also make time to explore upon experimental domain of video. Ridwan frequently makes video art for himself, as can be seen in his artwork “Hidup ini Warna” that is composed into three scenes of a poetic visual composition. Forwarding a minimalist serene space. Ridwan yearns to remind human kind that occasional! humankind should embrace emptiness to relinquish the hustle and bustle of the world that is becoming more a more obscene. Meanwhile Erick composes a film video entitled “Absolute Scuba”, a story about underwater life, fishes and various underwater creatures,-intense diving a movie that offers an education about life in the deep sea.
Curators Pre Bali Biennale 2005
Arif Bagus Prasetyo, Wayan Seriyoga Parta, Wayan Kun Adnyana, Wayan Sika, Putu Wirata Dwikora